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Star-Crossed Hardcover – November 14, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened and enigmatic powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. Paperback | Kindle book | See more for Teen and Young Adult readers

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–Patricia Kelley is the bold heroine of this 18th-century seafaring saga. Left with debts after her father's death, the teen leaves her English boarding school to claim her Barbados plantation. She stows away on a merchant ship, but is soon discovered and threatened with expulsion at the nearest port. The ship's surgeon intervenes and she becomes skilled as a nurse, but finds joy only in her nightly visits on deck when she wears sailor's clothes and learns to climb the ropes. She longs to be with Brian Dalton, the bosun's mate, but he is beneath her socially. In Barbados, Patricia finds that she has no home, and she agrees to the surgeon's marriage proposal. Part two depicts their growing relationship and the work they do to combat yellow fever. Part three finds Patricia a penniless widow and shipwreck victim. Disguised as a man, she signs on as an assistant surgeon on a frigate bound for battle in Havana and is reunited with Brian. Though much of the novel is plot driven, Collison does an excellent job of allowing her protagonist to develop. At first she is fairly unlikable, which is true to her character, but ultimately she matures and becomes free of the shackles of convention. Historical details are smoothly woven into the story, and a historical note and bibliography are appended. Readers who enjoyed Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (HarperCollins, 1992) will find a more substantial, mature story here to captivate them again.–Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After the death of her father, an English gentleman who had never married her mother, Patricia must leave the boarding school where she has lived for 10 years. Penniless but determined to claim her father's estate in Barbados, she stows away on a ship bound for the Caribbean. Though her plans go awry, Patricia discovers friendship, romance, marriage, love, danger, courage, self-reliance, and the satisfaction of a useful trade. She finds her soul mate early in the story, but because he cannot support her, she must accept the proposal of a man she does not love. A recurring theme is Patricia's dressing as a man, first for the freedom of climbing the ship's rigging and later for the necessity of earning her living in a man's profession. Collison's research shows--not just in the appended author's note and the glossary but also in details of mid-eighteenth-century birth control and life as a ship's surgeon. Told in the first person, this seafaring saga features a heroine who longs for both independence and love. Link this to Tanith Lee's Piratica (2004). Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; UNABRIDGED VERSION edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375833633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375833632
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,599,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Collison was born in Baltimore in 1953. She has been a registered nurse, a skydiving instructor, a volunteer firefighter, a freelance writer, writer of short stories, and a novelist.

The New York Public Library chose Collison's novel Star-Crossed to be among the Books for the Teen Age -- 2007. Her fiction, creative nonfiction and articles have been published by a variety of magazines and she has received awards from Foreword Reviews, Literary Fiction Book Review, Honolulu Magazine, Southwest Writers Workshop, the former Maui Writers' Conference, and the National Student Nurses Association.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
started reading nautical fiction, specifically C.S. Forester's Hornblower series, as a teenager. The Hornblower novels, while meant for adults, were great "boy books," full of adventure and action, with a hero with just enough self doubt and angst for a teenager to relate to. The readers of most nautical fiction seem to be primarily boys and men, which is not surprising for a genre whose heroes and villains are overwhelming male. Is there room for female readers and indeed a female heroine in these crowded waters? And if so, what role could she and would she play? After reading Linda Collison's novel, Star-Crossed, the answer to the first question is clearly yes.

The second question is less easy to answer and indeed is the heart of the novel. Linda Collison brings an established archetype to life in a fresh and wonderfully authentic tale of a young lady seeking her place in the world while caught in the fever-ridden islands of the Indies in the midst of the Seven Year's War.

In Star-Crossed, Patricia Kelly, the illegitimate daughter of a recently deceased plantation owner, stows away aboard a merchantman bound for the West Indies in hopes of reaching Barbados and claiming her father's plantation as her inheritance. All does not go as she had planned. She is discovered aboard ship but allowed to work as a loblolly boy, an assistant to the ship's surgeon. On arriving in Barbados, she learns that her father's plantation has been sold and that she must abandon her school girl dreams and face the grim reality before her. This includes a marriage of necessity to the ship's surgeon, outbreaks of yellow fever, shipwreck, and the death of her surgeon husband.
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Format: Hardcover
Linda Collison's STAR-CROSSED tells of a British girl whose father has died: to claim her estate she has to travel to Barbados as a stowaway. When she's discovered she lives a dual life: in training as a surgeon's mate, and at night donning pants to climb the rigging with sailors. Her very different lives will bring her a new understanding of both romance and male/female roles in a fast-paced adventure recommended for teens in grades 6-12.
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Format: Hardcover
I could not put this book down (and neither could my husband, for that matter). We both really enjoyed reading this high seas adventure and are looking forward to seeing what is in store for the characters in the future. This book has much to offer for young adults as well as their parents. It would make a great summer read for the whole family.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think it's important that there be books written specifically for "Young Adults" (even if the phrase itself is oxymoronic) as well as for girls. Young folks generally, and girls specifically, should be able to discover the joy of reading in books that are designed to engage their interests, concerns, sensibilities and viewpoints. However, I think that those of us who are not young, and not girls, can also enjoy these books -- at least the good ones. I do. Just as a for-instance, I read the first twenty or so Tamora Pierce novels along with my (then) adolescent daughter. We both enjoyed them (although maybe in different ways) and it was a great experience for both of us to talk them over.

Linda Collison, in Star-Crossed, puts a young woman aboard Royal Navy ships and creates a YA girl's book in the Historic Naval Fiction genre. The historic side is genuine and well-handled, although the focus is (for the better, IMO) just a bit different from most HNF. The reader is never involved in tactics, much less strategy - our view is limited to that of Patricia Kelley, who, like most of the crew of a naval ship, only experiences her little piece of a hugely complex machine. The book is no less lively and fascinating for that. Collison has real understanding of the workings of a ship and a gift for describing them. Kelley's first time aloft is given in a marvelous passage that combines accurate technical information (ratlines, shrouds, futtocks, etc.) with her thoughts and emotions. Collison also uses Kelley's fresh eyes to great effect in describing life aboard ship, gunnery and, above all, shipboard medicine.

Patricia Kelley is orphaned and stows away on a bark under contract to the Royal Navy in an attempt to reach Barbados to claim her inheritance.
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Format: Hardcover
This review refers to "Star-Crossed" by Linda Collison

Although this book is listed for young adults, I have to say as an old adult(really old), I enjoyed this read immensely. Linda Collison transported me back to the mid 18th century on a journey that was an adventurous,absorbing and heart pumping story.It's a novel that uses history and a heroine with great inner strength so determined to go after her dreams, that she faces her fears, adversity,illness and danger to make a better life for herself.

Patricia Kelley is the heroine of this sea going tale. We meet her as at a young woman of barely 17, she has lost everything. Her father, her place in a school for proper young English ladies, and her only hope in the world is to get to the property in Barbados promised to her by her father and start life anew. Daringly she sneaks aboard a merchant ship bound for her destination and stows away. Her journey is fraught with dangerous situations, disappointments, and one set back after another. The adventures are non-stop and through it all her life is continually enriched through her experiences, and the people that become a part of it. Dressing as a man to secure a place at sea, learning the skills of a surgeon, surviving the perils of life at sea, and even involved in a fierce battle(the historic siege in Havana),are all means to an end for her. Yet we watch her change and grow, learn to deal with life, as the sea becomes a part of her and she opens her heart to love.

Ms. Collison wonderfully tells this tale through the first person of Patricia. The reader can't help but get emotionally involved with her and see it all through her eyes.
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